STUC REACTS WITH ANGER OVER WELFARE REFORMS

April 4th 2011

The STUC has condemned the latest attack by the coalition Government on our welfare system as they press ahead with plans to bully vulnerable people into work.

Grahame Smith STUC General Secretary said

“The Government is pushing ahead with plans to subject tens of thousands of people to work capability assessments, a process that is deeply flawed, is operated in draconian fashion and places many thousands of vulnerable people in danger.

“Citizens Advice point to evidence that 70% of those judged fit for work subsequently win their appeals is evidence enough that this process just does not work. This Government appears to ignore, or perhaps does not care about the pressure that people are placed under as a result of these assessments.

“This is a computer based questionnaire that fails to take into account the individual’s ability to function over any extended period of time. Our concern would be that those who suffer fluctuation conditions such as Hepatitis C or moderate to severe mental illness will simply drop out of the benefits system.

“The Conservatives should remember that it was their party who pushed the unemployed onto incapacity benefits in the first place, as their recession in the 1990’s swelled the ranks of the unemployed.

“Pushing people off unemployment benefit onto incapacity benefit at that time has led to the long term problem they are now trying to sort out by implementing this bullying and intimidating process.

“We would urge the Government to stop this process with immediate effect and concentrate on providing adequate and long term support to help those with disabilities and long term conditions into work."

ENDS

For further information contact Ian Tasker 0141 337 8100

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